Evaluating your marketing profitability can be challenging – there seem so many unknowns and moving parts. One approach is performance management; used well it can strengthen your capacity for continuous improvement. The success of your marketing strategy hinges on how effectively and efficiently that strategy is implemented and controlled as well as than the strategy itself.
The four elements you need in place for evaluating your marketing profitability are objectives, metrics, analytics and actions, which are inextricably intertwined in evaluating the effectiveness and ROI of marketing activity. With each element in place, you are more able to take corrective action for areas of your marketing that aren’t working well.
For instance, you may wish to evaluate:
Design – how effective is your marketing funnel, what are your conversion rates, what is your lifetime customer value, as these determine how much money you can spend to turn a click into a customer.
Process – how well-controlled is your marketing activity in terms of regularly checking the ROI of time and spend on advertising / promotion.
With web analytics it’s easier than ever now to access robust data across your marketing process, tracking the customer journey from enquiry right through to high-ticket purchases. At its simplest, marketing success is evaluated via Return on Investment (ROI), but using metrics such as cost per click and sales revenue won’t tell you how well the marketing design itself is working and how it could be improved; it only shows you the output against input.
Dive deeper and there’s a whole array of beautiful data at your fingertips. If you take the time with web, email and social media tracking and analytics, it can be very revealing. For instance, you can identify definitely:
- What parts of your website visitors are most/least engaging with (hot
- Which offers or opt-in forms and offers are generating the most leads
- Where your conversions are good or where you’re losing people
- How well your leads are engaging with you and your email messages.
Furthermore, embedding analytics tools such as GoogleAnalytics or Clicktale in your website means you’re able to evaluate your visitor behaviours and customer experience and start to see the story behind the clickthrough rates on your site. This is critical for understanding where to focus your enhancement actions. When you know where your best customers are coming from or going next, what they are responding to or engaging with most, you can optimise your marketing / remarketing and reduce your ad spend drastically.
“Every mouse move, hover, scroll, tap and pinch exposes structured behavioral patterns that determine customers’ digital body language.” _ Clicktale
But it’s not enough just to look at the number analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing strategy and to hazard a guess to which tactics will bring about the biggest enhancements.
Evaluating marketing profitability needs to be more holistic than this and it’s definitely worth spending some time and effort first to clarify your marketing objectives (awareness raising, lead generation, sales, customer satisfaction etc) and then to identify the metrics that best track those objectives. This way you can focus on long term as well as short term outcomes. For example, lifetime customer value can be evaluated from two completely different viewpoints:
- Quantitative based on financial metrics from your ad spend vs sales analytics across the entire customer journey; and
- Qualitative based on reputational metrics derived from customer feedback.